Introductory Wikipedia session at BITS Goa

Posted by Nitika Tandon at Mar 19, 2013 05:50 AM |
The Access to Knowledge team at the Centre for Internet and Society was invited by Nikhil Dixit, Public Relations Officer at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani – Goa (BITS Goa) to organise Wikipedia session on March 7, 2013. Nitika Tandon participated in this workshop and shares with us the developments.

Despite the fact that students were busy with their exams and lab tests nearly 30 of them turned up for the event. Many of the students had already tried a bit of IP editing but had not bothered to create accounts. When asked why they hadn't created user accounts many of them said they didn't feel that it is important to create accounts till they are able to correct or add information that they want to share using IPs. The participants were then told about the importance of creating user accounts: using it as an identity with the Wikipedia community, each edit being added to their edit count, helping them build trust, friends and connections with other editors, being able to become Wikipedia administrators or system operators, etc.

As most of the participants had some knowledge of Wikipedia editing, having made sporadic edits in the past, they wanted to know more about advanced editing. About an hour was therefore spent on actual hands on editing where students tried — adding references, wiki markups, info boxes, etc. Students were also taught on how to use user talk pages to interact with other editors. During the course of the workshop we figured that one of the participants had worked on search in 2011 and we invited him to talk a little about his project, experience and involvement. A lot of students were surprised that one amongst their fellow students had worked with the Wikimedia movement in India and achieved so much success. His story really inspired several in the room and many participants made promises to get more involved as editors. Many participants were also curious to know more about Hackathons.

Our next step is to connect participants from all the workshops organised in Goa at BITS Goa, Goa University, Central State Library and Nirmala Institute of Education, since December last year, to enable and support them to organise regular Wiki meet-ups and programs, etc., and strengthen the Wikimedia movement in Goa.